Musée d'Orsay: The Four Feathers

The Four Feathers

Zoltan Korda
1939. English, Fr subtitles
130 mins

After resigning his commission in the army, Harry Faversham's friends present him with four white feathers, the symbol of cowardice. Stunned by this gesture, he joins the war in Sudan in order to return each one of the feathers to its owner.

This was the most famous version of A.E.W Mason's successful novel, adapted for the cinema eight times. This colonial novel stirred up feelings of patriotism, and celebrated the greatness of those who fought for the British Empire. Korda's adaptation, which was more beautiful and more subtle than the book, played down its nationalistic values, with the protagonist here seeking personal revenge above all. Visually beautiful, it was one of the first European films to be shot in Technicolor.


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